She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Steve Coburn --- Good or bad for horse racing?

When people look back on the running of the 2014 Belmont Stakes, it may be the owner of a horse that lost they remember instead of the winner.

Steve Coburn has had his 15 minutes of fame...and then some...and got it in a bizarre fashion.

His three-year old CALIFORNIA CHROME won the Kentucky Derby. Pretty easily. Dumb Ass Partners (quite an appropriate name for the ownership group) took the horse to Maryland to compete in the Preakness...the second leg of horse racing's triple crown. While there, Steve used the bully pulpit to slam Churchill Downs' supposed lack of coddling for him and his entourage.

Wah, wah, wah.

They won the Preakness and off to the Big Apple and Elmont, New York for the Belmont Stakes. What would the cranky old man do next?

Ol' Chrome didn't shine too brightly in the Belmont Stakes...finishing in a tie for fourth place. The media descended upon Steve and he used the venue to once again become the bitter, old whiner. The gospel according to Coburn:

-The owners of Tonalist...winner of the Belmont were cheaters for not running in all three legs of racing's triple crown.

-The system is broke and it needs fixing. Sweeping changes are needed in the Triple Crown format.

-His horse having to compete against fresher horses was like a wheelchair victim playing basketball against a 6'2" athlete.

...Shut up, grandpa...

You lost the triple crown. That does not make you unique. Ironically, your whiny, finger-pointing rant did bring a lot of attention to the Triple Crown, the race and horse racing in general.

But, you...sir...are an ass.

Apologies 48 hours after the rant don't cut it. Sack up and take it like a man. You competed, you lost. Show a little class.

The future of California Chrome? Early indications are that the horse will remain out on the left coast and race out there. That means a possible Breeders Cup entry this fall. Sure, the horse clipped heels coming out of the gate and got a cut on his leg. That's equivalent to Shoni Schimmel getting a scratch in a game from an opposing player. You put a band-aid on it and play on.

The future of Steve Coburn? Chasing kids off of his lawn. Criticizing kids for spilling milk. Arguing with servers at the early bird, senior citizen discount at Ryan's Steak House. Gout, incontinence and flatulence. AARP discounts and references to his resemblance to Wilford Brimley.

The owners, trainer and jockey of Tonalist deserved that spotlight. Joel Rosario is one of the best riders in the world. He was virtually ignored. The grumpy old man stumbled in front of it and refused to leave.

Steve Coburn is bad for horse racing. A poor sport who has no idea what the terms 'gracious in defeat' and 'congratulory' mean. It wouldn't bother me at all if he slunk into the shadows and kept his mouth shut. In fact, I encourage it.

No one likes a party-pooper... 

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